Province issues advisory about fungus found in retail tomato plants
Published Monday, June 14, 2010 5:52PM CST
Officials with the province have issued an advisory after the fungal disease called late blight was found on tomato seedlings at several retail locations in Winnipeg and Brandon.
The blight does not cause any human health issues, but poses a serious disease issue for vegetables in the nightshade family, including tomatoes and potatoes, said provincial officials.
Retail outlets have stopped selling the tomato plants.
The blight shows up as lesions and grey-green areas on leaves and can also show up as white mildew on the underside of leaves in high humidity, said officials.
Home gardeners should check their tomatoes and potatoes immediately, said officials. If late blight is present, destroying the affected plants by uprooting and bagging the infected ones is the best option to prevent further spread to healthy plants, said officials. More information and pictures of tomato plants with late blight can be found at: www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/seasonalreports.html
Commercial potato growers should apply protectant fungicide on their crops as soon as possible and then monitor their fields, said officials.
Commercial growers should also check their own home-garden plots for infection on tomato and other plants in the nightshade family.
More information is available by contacting Manitoba Agriculture's crops knowledge centre at 204-745-5630.